C is for

Cotton.

I don’t suppose too many people have a little bundle of cotton in their collection of family heirlooms, do they? I do. My grandfather was a cotton classer from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. He started out in Texas, and his company sent him to work in Brazil in the 1930’s.


This paper-wrapped bundle is what he brought home as a souvenir. It was a favorite item for Show and Tell for all of us kids, and somehow it has remained intact. I think my grandfather must have been good at classing cotton; he was meticulous and focused. I don’t have any idea what grade this bit would be, though.


This is my father at about age ten, with my grandparents, on the ship to Brazil. What adventures were they imagining? I know that they loved living there, in Recife and Sao Paulo, and that they made many life-long friends and good memories. [Wow, I look a lot like my grandmother!]

My sister has much of the correspondence that went back and forth between them and their families, there are boxes of documents to sort through, and I have the one photo album from their time there. Shouldn’t we put them all together one of these days? I’d love to know the whole story!


C could also be for Miss Nosy-Cat.

13 thoughts on “C is for

  1. That’s such a nice unique family heirloom. You really should put them all together some day. I’m sure Miss Nosy-Cat could help you with the smell side of the story. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Yes, a cotton classer grades cotton. The photo album has some pictures of a huge warehouse, with tall windows and long tables. There are bales and bales of cotton waiting to be classed and sorted. I picture my grandfather spending much of his work day going up and down the rows, deciding what’s what.Annabelle could be a yarn classer of sorts, couldn’t she? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. It is a big job to consolidate family heirlooms like that – but oh how wonderful they are when you can put the “whole story” together. And then, it’s easy to make copies of them so the stories get told down through the generations. I am doing a bit of that myself this year.Hugs

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  4. I love this C entry – your family had some great adventures I am sure – thanks for sharing this one with us – and how cool to have that heirloom ๐Ÿ˜€

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  5. What a wonderful memory and heirloom. Thanks for sharing. I bet no one wants me to show any evidence of my Grandpap’s work with the Pittsburgh water company. . . .

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  6. Loved your writing… I'm doing my family geneology on Ancestry.com & learning about the early Cotton Industry. We have relatives that were Cotton Classers, Cotton Merchants & so forth. It is a world I knew nothing about till I started doing the family history. Fascinating!

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